Without poetry,

           grief has no translation

          and no voice

                                          -  Janet Buck 


Samantha Stone: A Novel of Mystery, Memoir & Romance, Janet Buck's debut novel, is now available courtesy of Vine Leaves Press. A limited number of autographed copies are available NOW by contacting the author by email: jbuck22874@aol.com



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Pre-reviews are celebrating this book as packed with suspense, revealing memoir & solid entertainment--as well as engaging content & witty dialogue--a delicate balance between personal tragedy & the many flavors of love.   


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Samantha Stone, by Janet Buck, is a five-course meal of memoir, suspense, romance, deceit, and the tale of a young amputee who struggles to define herself in the face of adversity so complex it can’t be real, yet it is. Samantha loses her birth mother to Leukaemia shortly after her 3rd birthday. A woman with a tongue so sharp it can slice a lemon without a knife takes her mother’s place, and the friction in the Stone home is more crippling than her disability. On the cusp of her 18th birthday, she finds herself leaning on her best friend’s arm in a world tainted by murder, deceit, and addiction.
 
Samantha craves both approval and a man in her life who won’t dissolve like bouillon cubes in a boiling pot of grief and loss, yet trust itself seems nothing but a futile dream. Buck calls Samantha Stone an “Immorality Play.” Through that backdoor, puzzle pieces of morality itself emerge and glisten on the icy streets of Castle City. Abounding humour and witty dialogue make tragedy more edible. Read this book of torment and struggle—discover for yourself whether Samantha survives—makes angels in the snow—or freezes in its girth. 

-------------------------   Samantha Stone: Reviews  ------------------------

“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
Janet Buck’s new collection, Dirty Laundry (Vine Leaves Press), reveals Buck at her most precise as she studies the nuances of her own experience, concurrently transcending them; in this way, further embracing confessionalism while also traversing beyond its restraints, becoming in the course of these poems no less that a contemporary every-woman. In the opening poem, "The View from Here," Buck writes:  I'm in the room, yet not at all. I sit, a scarecrow in a chair, black arms, black wheels, nightmares of my life in view. Idle conversation flows, the promise of a heavy rain so obvious....
  The poet observes herself clearly and detachedly, as if she's scrutinizing a ghost. She's hardly present, bodily or energetically, merely a "scarecrow." This theme, the "cumulative and nighmar[ish]" erosion of self, is one that Buck has explored consistently and vividly over the years. In "Craving a Map," the closing poem of her 2003 collection, Tickets to a Closing Play, she wrote:  I've begged for sachet memories, but some drawers stay under lock and the key. Then rust attacks, eats the metal and the turn. All my questions sat so long they don't know how to stand or walk.  The "sachet" grows empty; "drawers" can no longer be opened; "keys" and "locks" corrode. The speaker analogizes her perennial "questions" to atrophied legs, how they've lost their relevance or been forgotten, an experience exacerbated by the passing of time and the eradication of familiar references and associations. The poet is left only with the poem: "This page, this sweater with holes."
  Indeed, her 2004 collection, Beckoned by the Reckoning, also showcased Buck's interest in impermanence and its impact on identity, the poems in this volume lamenting and elegizing the continuum of birth and death, the recognizable invariably replaced by the unrecognizable, disability a self-perpetuating syndrome. In a poem titled "Morsels," she speaks of life after her mother's death, addressing her father's remarriage and rearrangement of the house:  He married again and slowly the furniture changed. One piece painted, one piece gone. You fell away like cactus flowers but thorns lived on in effigy. Suddenly a different house, a different street, every step uphill and breathless wondering. I sent my dolls on hunting trips to find your lipstick in a drawer.
  Of particular note is Buck's image of her mother "[falling] away like cactus flowers"; in contrast, the "thorns"—unresolved conflicts, resentments, and ambivalence—"liv[ing] on in effigy," dysfunction and convoluted grief constituting a mock tribute to her mother's memory. The final two lines of the stanza show Buck at her most directorial, the speaker dispatching her troupe of "dolls" on "hunting trips" to find, the reader imagines, a trinket of "lipstick" that has perhaps rolled to the back of a "drawer."  Buck is primarily an existential poet, focusing on the iterations, contours, and subtleties of human psychology rather than specific incidents, locales, or even portraiture; that said, she crafted what struck me twelve plus years ago, and still strike me today, as some of the most memorable "9/11 poems," these pieces contributing significantly to the success of Tickets to a Closing Play. In several poems from that volume, Buck addressed the loss of a familiar world post 9/11, alchemizing the horrors of that day and its aftermath into striking imagery and newfound lapsarian references. In "Tea Leaves," she writes: "Captions under CNN read/ tea leaves of blood, a crapshoot/ of corpses and coffins of dust," conjuring a tableau of pagan rituals, barbarian justice, and tribal prophesies, the use of "crapshoot" choreographing carnage as a roll of Fate's dice. 9/11 has rendered even the Fates mute and moot, eclipsed by savage motives manifesting in incomprehensible violence. If Buck mostly explores loss on an individual or micro-level, her 9/11 poems demonstrate her ability to embrace loss on a macro-level, these pieces both a reflection of a new world that would birth the Patriot Act and the Iraqi War, and a tribute to a past that would soon seem quaint compared to the national and global climate post 9/11. Buck uses the particular and topical to render a contemporary version of the loss of innocence, a dystopian manifesto for the 21st Century. If the metaphorical eating of the apple as depicted in Genesis is tantamount to "paradise lost," 9/11, as Buck sees it, represents the impossibility of paradise ever being regained.
  In Dirty Laundry, Buck continues to plumb the nature of suffering, her own and that of others, perhaps more expansively and descriptively than in previous collections. In "The Firm Eclipse," she announces, "3 a.m.—I'm still awake—/ sweating like a water glass/ that sits so long the ice dissolves," capturing the angst and agony of insomnia. The reader is forced to remain awake with Buck's speaker; as she "sweats," so do we. In "The Vee of Geese," Buck presents a scene: "On our street, a little girl has lost her doll;/ it fell in ditches somewhere close and so we search/ like FBI hunting for a kidnapped child." And later in the same poem: 
I find her doll in piles of rocks, dusting off the chestnut braids, straightening pink checkered sleeves, put it in her tired arms. She grabs my artificial thigh, asks me if it is a tree.
  This is a masterful sequence, the "doll" employed as a surrogate for a flesh-and-blood girl. References to the FBI and  "hunting for a kidnapped child" transform the relatively benign scenario into an ominous unfolding; the tableau has come to life; the psychodrama is no longer purely metaphorical. By the time the reader encounters the above-quoted four lines, the doll has morphed into a corporeal child (a la Ovid) and been retrieved, by the speaker, from "piles of rocks." The speaker is briefly a savior of sorts, at least as the reader is concerned, able to restore or resurrect the doll, sparing the child from devastating grief. The addition of the "artificial thigh" is a skillful touch. Nothing, we are suddenly reminded, is real here; and yet, the unreal is ironically all that exists; therefore, by default, the unreal becomes the real.
In "Tooth Decay," Buck deals with the pressing nature of illness, offering a touch of humor: "Too many other troubles brew/ with morning coffee every day." "Best Friends" addresses the connection that can be experienced relationally: "Best friends have the very same bones,/ clean mirrors of anatomy." "Liver Cancer: Stage IV" ostensibly frames a speaker's willingness to help a sick friend—"Skip the feckless taps of texts,/ go hold her hand that drapes in weakened ivory/ from edges of her wrinkled bed"—though these lines might also represent a transcription of the speaker's self-talk, the cheerleading we ad lib to motivate ourselves during difficult times. In "Apple Cores," Buck writes:  Even in youth, I've always known health is just a flock of pigeons dining in Trafalgar Square. A gasp comes from my surgeon's mouth, I take too many steps at once, and suddenly the birds are gone. 
   In poem after poem, Buck illuminates the terrifying rapids we navigate as humans. In "Slapping the Hide of the Horse," she writes, "A private, petty Armageddon rules my day." In "Pretend I’m Just a Coconut," she bemoans the jadedness of the world, writing, "Take me to a wiser island than this world." And later in the same poem:  Take me where some twenty men struggle through the midnight hours to get a porpoise back to sea where it belongs. Show me mangos resting in a wooden bowl, ripening like virgin breasts…. "A Paltry Petition to God" is one of the more deeply revealing pieces in this collection, a poem in which the speaker reflects on how she was "Brought up not to cry or pray," meanwhile navigating her own self-loathing, lying "in a dark cellar of hypocrisy," finally realizing: 
But this time stoic was a joke: I stretched my mind in blind, deaf trust, pleaded for maps to a gracious death or a favor from God the size of a barreling asteroid.
  This poem marks the beginning of an extraordinary emotional arc in the collection, Buck accomplishing no less than a contemporary reconfiguration of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets ("Batter my heart, three-person’d God"), perhaps tapping the resoluteness consistently explored by Mary Oliver or embraced by Jane Kenyon in such pieces as "Otherwise,” though Buck's realized wisdom is more fluid, less self-conscious, even seemingly incidental, and not a discovery in which the poet revels. If there's a hard-won breakthrough for the speaker, as well as for Buck, the poet (and there certainly is), it's not presented as such; there's nothing of the pretentious in these lines; Buck has no desire to wax didactic or peddle aphorisms to the reader.  Dirty Laundry ends with a sober but ultimately triumphant poem that emerges seamlessly from the poems that preceded it, a final statement naturally arising, much like a spontaneous and synoptic manifesto, integrating and compacting the subtle paradoxes Buck has translated throughout this collection, indeed throughout her career, into original and compelling language

John Amen is the author of five collections of poetry.  He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine


February 12, 2016
I don’t normally read poetry but about 18 years ago I stumbled across Buck’s poetry. I have read just about all that she’s published including her previous books. Her poetry is eloquent with a distinct voice and a subtle music. It speaks clearly, with honesty and without pity. It makes one think about the other people around us and takes us out of our secure shells. Through her, we get a greater clarity of our inner being and what makes us tick.

I read an interview once where she says that she “walks naked on the page”. Well, reading this puts us right next to her and just as naked. It’s a very powerful and thought provoking read.

ANONYMOUS


"Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart's blood---the suffering of the young heroine---and with Buck's own love of words and faith in words.  Her faith in love above all.


ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR of OFFCOURSE.ORG

"Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description.  First-hand knowledge is the key.  Jack O'Connor, Samantha's therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life.  Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming.  Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha's stepmother---evil itself personified.  That picture is shot in shocking color.  With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samanta leads the 'good guys' through the who, why, and how of murder in the family.  Janet Buck's debut novel, Samanta Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read---you'll have a hard time putting it down."
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR of POETRYREPAIRS.COM

"Janet Buck's novel, Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future.  Buck's prose in luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion."
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR of GHOST OF YESTERDAY

"Family strife's the theme. Survival is the game.  Samantha is a young woman disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons.  Janet Buck's debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humor and suspense.  Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints.  A strong-armed wrestling match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation."
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR of MISFIT MAGAZINE 

 
 First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM


“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
  l 

“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG

“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE

“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
“Janet Buck handles the realities, emotions, and stigmas of living with a disability with authentic detail and description. First-hand knowledge is the key. Jack O’Connor, Samantha’s therapist, moves ever so gently into being the man in her life. Their dialogue is real, positive, and life affirming. Their relationship stands in sharp contrast, as a portrait in black and white, to a piercing, gruesome photo of Candace Stone, Samantha’s stepmother—evil itself personified. That picture is shot in shocking colour. With the world pressing on her shoulders, Samantha leads the ‘good guys’ through the who, why and how of murder in the family. Janet Buck’s debut novel, Samantha Stone, is a fast-paced, steady, engaging read—you’ll have a hard time putting it down.”
JOHN HORVATH, EDITOR OF POETRYREPAIRS.COM
“Janet Buck’s novel Samantha Stone is a romance, a murder mystery, an exploration of how a young woman learns to find a way of living past loneliness and disability into a promising future. Buck’s prose is luminous, and the well-plotted action of the book draws the reader on and on toward its compelling conclusion.”
SUSAN TERRIS, AUTHOR OF GHOST OF YESTERDAY
“Family strife’s the theme. Survival is the game. Samantha is a young woman, disabled and enabled by physical tragedy and a home life that makes Mommie Dearest look like cute cartoons. Janet Buck’s debut novel is personal, poetic, and packed with both humour and suspense. Her witty and edgy dialogue is woven in like threads of perfect needlepoints. A strong-armed wresting match between good & evil, Samantha Stone is a must-read book for every generation.”
ALAN CATLIN, EDITOR OF MISFIT MAGAZINE
“Janet Buck gives us a hilarious pastiche of a mystery novel, with romance and coming-of-age thrown in for extra body, the whole bound up with heart’s blood—the suffering of the young heroine—and with Buck’s own love of words and faith in words. Her faith in love above all.”
ISABEL NIRENBERG, EDITOR OF OFFCOURSE.ORG
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